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Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah

Each year we enter the physical space of the Sukkah with joy and excitement for the holiday.

On This Page:

Service Times | Sukkot EventsAbout Shemini Atzeret | About Simchat Torah

Service Times

Erev Shemini Atzeret, Friday, October 6
6:30pm Erev Shemini Atzeret Service
6:26pm Candle Lighting

Shemini Atzeret, Saturday, October 7
9:30am Shemini Atzeret Service (includes Yizkor)
10:00am Youth Services
7:25pm Candle Lighting
7:30pm Erev Simchat Torah Service and Hakafot

Simchat Torah, Sunday, October 8
9:30am Simchat Torah Service and Hakafot
7:30pm Ma’ariv

All services in the sanctuary will be available via livestream at

Shmini Atzeret

Celebrate Shmini Atzeret and Shabbat on Saturday, October 7.

Shmini Atzeret is both a holiday unto itself and the eighth day of Sukkot. As a nod to both aspects, it is customary to eat meals in the sukkah on Shmini Atzeret (Friday night and Saturday), but not to recite the blessing for dwelling in the sukkah.

The Shmini Atzeret service will include Hallel, Yizkor and Geshem.

Hallel is a collection of Psalms recited on holidays and on Rosh Chodesh before the Torah service. It expresses our gratitude and joy for divine providence. The melody is truly joyful and we look forward to singing it as we end the fall holiday season.

We have the opportunity once more to recite Yizkor in remembrance of those who are no longer with us. Remember to light a yahrtzeit candle before the holiday begins on Friday evening. Yizkor is on Saturday morning following the Torah service.

Shmini Atzeret marks the beginning of the rainy season, which we note by adding mashiv ha-ruach u'morid ha-gashem (You cause the wind to blow and the rain to fall) to Musaf. On this day, we also sing Geshem, the prayer for rain, following the Yizkor service. This moving and beautiful prayer recalls the many ways that water is central to our lives and to our history.

Simchat Torah

Celebrate Simchat Torah on Saturday night and Sunday, October 7-8.

On Simchat Torah ("Rejoicing with the Torah"), we celebrate reaching the end of the Torah and starting anew right away. Simchat Torah marks the end of our annual reading of the Torah with the final parasha of Devarim, and then we begin again immediately with Bereishit. It is a joyous holiday that celebrates our love of Torah.

The Simchat Torah evening service on Saturday, October 7, brings us together in hakafot (dancing with the Torah). Weather permitting, we hold this service outside in the courtyard. Traditionally, children join the hakafot waving homemade flags to help create a parade-like atmosphere. You can make your own at home (see instructions here), or print this downloadable version. Make our hakafot festive and fun with your own flag to wave!

The Simchat Torah morning service includes more hakafot and flags, and a recitation of Hallel, expressing our gratitude and joy for divine providence, as well as special honors for members of our community who represent our past and our future. Simchat Torah is the only time of year that everyone, even those who are not yet Bar or Bat Mitzvah, is eligible for an aliyah. At Olam Tikvah, we celebrate with Aliyot for All.

Fri, April 19 2024 11 Nisan 5784